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Cuts, Nicks, Lacerations, Etc From Running In The Wild


Guest whitefawn
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Guest whitefawn

Hi everyone,

 

Winnie and I just moved to Chicago from Rhode Island, and I'm now exploring the dog park situation in the area. We're actually just back from Prairie Wolf dog park in Lake Forest (http://www.lcfpd.org/preserves/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.view&object_id=27649&type=P) the most fantastic dog park I've seen so far -a 44-acre fenced area including ponds, woods, grassy meadows and fields for dogs to run, swim, and play off-leash. Winnie was in heaven. On the bright side, I'd never seen her enjoying herself that much. I was delighted to see that, even though she disappeared in the woods and fields for short periods of time, she'd always come back to me when I called her. On the not-so-bright side, she is now covered in cuts and abrasions all over her legs, including a badly lacerated pad (the top layer of skin is about to fall off, though it doesn't seem to bother her too much). Winnie always runs like crazy when I let her off the leash and always comes back with cuts and nicks, but obviously not this bad. My question is: (1) should I worry about that pad laceration or just let it heal itself? I washed it, applied some Neosporin and some Columbia vet powder, and dressed the wound. (2) Should I be at all concerned by those dog park injuries, or just assume they are normal in greyhounds? What can I do to speed the healing of those cuts and promote hair regrowth on those areas? As most greyhounds, Winnie has very thin hair on her legs, and her skin is ridiculously thin and delicate, but I'd obviously rather have a scarred, happy dog than a pretty, repressed one!

 

Any thoughts? Thanks!

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a friend of mine relocated to the chicago area and had the same experieince w/ her grey- she came back a mess- but the vet bill was around $300 from one of the cuts that instantly got infected. (food for thought).....clean lacerations well- make sure they are not getting infected. pads generally take a week to heal- soaking in epsom's salts or a solution of french gray sea salt will help, but i generally do not encourage my dogs to run w/ cut pads.

 

greys and dog parks ???? do a search on gt since there are many different opinions about them. personally my experience has been limited since i found running w/ other breeds can be a problem. felix was young running at a dog park- a young dane was playing w/ him, pawed him and nearly ripped the skin on his side- lots of little scabs at the site. boxers also paw hard. one doesn't know how easily a greyhounds skin tears untill they experience it- one nip at home and felix needed 14 staples- the skin affected by the nip died on the way to the vet- basically my vet made a dart w/ the staple gun! you also don't know if the other dogs really aren't aggressive especially in an area that vast.

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Guest whitefawn

Thanks for your thoughts Cleptogrey! Winnie actually does very well at dog parks and with other dogs in general. She's very shy and skittish, though she occasionally lets her dominant side show with selected victims -no boxers, pit bulls, huskies or the likes. When she hurts herself, she usually does it on her own by running and jumping like crazy. She's also good with bandages, so the one I put on her lacerated pad is still on this morning. She, however, looks quite stiff and sore from the excessive running and fun yesterday -should I think of giving her some mild ant inflammatory?

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My two run in the forest and often get nicks, scrapes, and cuts. I clean them well and use Vetericyn and sometimes an antibiotic cream. Sometimes I have wrapped the bigger ones to help it stay clean and keep them from licking. They've had some torn pads too and do about the same treatment. I've never had to wrap the pad/foot to heal, but if it seems tender I don't do big walks for a couple days. The hanging piece just dries and falls off. The fur has grown back on all but a few of the bigger ones. Mine are often a little stiff after a good run too. :-)

Edited by hikinghounds
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I find that Barbie gets nicks and cuts from the more 'natural' dog park with lots of sticks and grass. Unfortunately I think that her foot issue may have been picked up in the same place (suspected foreign body causing a chronic draining sinus)... sometimes it really is just a trade off - really the dogs love the freedom even though they might hurt themselves a little.... it's a risk/benefit type scenario, can't keep them wrapped up in cotton wool all the time.

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I'd obviously rather have a scarred, happy dog than a pretty, repressed one!

 

Any thoughts? Thanks!

I agree with this. At the same time I would worry about wounds getting infected. Have you thought about putting boots on her to protect her legs while she is running in areas like that park?

I found these boots in Amazon and thought something like that might help.

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B005GSSZ0I/ref=mp_s_a_1_6?qid=1378895629&sr=8-6&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

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Guest whitefawn

At the same time I would worry about wounds getting infected. Have you thought about putting boots on her to protect her legs while she is running in areas like that park?

 

Yes, I thought about the boots -and those you found on Amazon look good! -but then I figured she'd be really uncomfortable running in them and would probably rip them off right away (as she did when I tried anti slip socks on her for the sake of both her legs and my hardwood floor!). I think I'll try to wrap her legs in those non-stick bandage tape you find in pharmacies. I tried it on her wounds and it seems to work fine. It reminds me of horse leg wraps. For now, none of her scrapes got infected and are healing fast and well. Columbia vet powder rocks!

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Guest BlueCrab

The non-stick bandage tape of which you speak sounds like Vet-rap that is sold in most tack / saddlery stores, although there are a number of different brands out there now. I stock up on it when Dover Saddlery catalog has it on sale; probably cheaper than buying it in the corner pharmacy. It's great stuff to have in your first aid kit; I pulled out a roll at Grapehounds last month and used it on myself when I twisted my ankle.

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Why not work on a solid recall and try to keep her in areas with you where she's less likely to get those kinds of injuries? You can't prevent them entirely and I'm in the camp where the risk is worth the reward, but if there are ways I can prevent injury I will. It sounds like there's tons of space to play and run there, perhaps there are sections of the wooded areas that have trails you could walk on and you could teach her to stay on the trail sections running in front of or behind you? Or stick to the more open field areas provided it's not too hot.

 

Given the size, I would really encourage you to make sure you have a really reliable recall trained (just going to the park and finding she comes back when you call her a few times doesn't qualify, especially with a shy dog). You might also consider getting a bear bell for her collar. Just thinking if she hurts herself enough that she can't get back to you, will you be able to find her? This is why I've trained my dogs to stay within my sight when they're off lead, and in Zuri's case, on the trail. I want to know where they are at all times so I can know if they're in danger.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Just keep them clean, and it should be fine. Dogs get nicks. It happens. Heck if we have crusty snow it will cut my grey's legs up going potty in the backyard!

 

Sounds like the park was a lot of fun! Enjoy it. If your dog is active in an outdoor environment - stuff will happen. It wouldn't deter me from going. Vet wrap IS like horse leg-wrap, and serves the same purpose. Good stuff.

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Recall is a good idea, though if the dog is really hurt she will probably tell you where she is. One of our rescue group fosters ended up with a stick impaling her running in a wooded area, she made it back to her foster carer... it had penetrated through her thigh. Nasty scar as a result but she recovered well.

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